Plaited Foot Keepsake & Holder

When I was little and went over summer to visit my grandma, my favourite time pass was making plaited with lace foot/shoe holders. In the original method you must use laced ribbon and needle and a thread to stitch everything together. 

So today I want to share with you a variation of my childhood gifts that I made for everyone in the family: Plaited Foot Keepsake & Holder. 

You will need:

– cardboard or cereal box

– marker

– scissors

– gift wrapping ribbons 

– double-sided tape

– hole puncher

How to make your keepsake:

1. Trace your child’s foot on the cardboard. For older children (over 2) you can let them trace by themselves. Cut it out. 

2. Make the top for the keepsake – similar cresent shape. Cut it out. 

3. Now use double sides tape to secure few vertical pieces of ribbon across the foot. Do the same for the horizontal pieces. 

4. Now following the collage, plait them over each other. Repeat with the cresent shaped top.

5. Using double-sided tape, tape some more ribbon on the other side of the sole. 

6. To connect both parts and make a shoes, use the stapler. Or you can stitch them together, too. 

7. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole at the top and put a thread through. 


Your keepsake is ready! And you can use it as a candy holder, too. For Christmas you can use it instead of a stocking! And it will make a lovely gift as well. 

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Please join us for making lovely Kid-Made gift Ideas. Every year several bloggers join together for this amazing project hosted by Teach Me Mommy! Hop over to  Landing Page to see what you have missed and what is coming up!

Play Dough and Paper Plate Wreath

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Christmas is such a beautiful time for children. Whether it fits their cultural believes or not, the magic of the holiday finds its way into the children’s hearts and gets them excited about the festivities.

This year Kid Blogger Network bloggers gather yet again to give you 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments Inspired by Books, hosted by Mama Miss. Check out my post on Christmas Lantern from last year before I go onto introducing a new craft!

In my ESL classes I try incorporating many things: phonics, elements of reading, writing, craft and more. It has now become a tradition that we read a book or a part of a book at the end of our class.

We were going through a book called Christmas is the New House.

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When children saw the picture of Wreath being hung, they became curious.

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And as I tried explaining what it is, the idea of a simple wreath craft came to my mind: Play dough and Paper Plate Wreath.

Materials needed:

One paper plate
Play dough of favorite color (even though the wreath is isually green, I let children use their imagination)
Assorted beans
Clear contact paper (optional – to preserve the craft)

How to make it:

1. Cut out the middle of the paper plate, leaving just the rim of the plate. Keep it for some other craft! (I love upcycling!)

2. Have the children take pieces of play dough and spread them over the rim, pressing firmly so it doesn’t easily fall off.

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3. Using beans, decorate the wreath.

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4. If you want the wreath to last – use contact paper to stick over the craft and secure on the side that has no play dough to preserve. You can decorate it with a bow as well. In my experience preserved this way play dough keeps fresh for at least 3-4 months and then still stays while drying up for another few months.

Voilà, you have these pretty wreaths!

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As an option, and to make a bigger size wreath, you can cut it out of the cardboard and also add more things, like, leaves and twigs besides beans to decorated over the play dough.

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Join us for the remaining days of 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas! And check out already posted ornaments!
Link up below your favorite and relevant posts!

Merry Christmas!


   

    An InLinkz Link-up

   

Christmas Decorations Around the World {Christmas in Different Lands}

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I think it was mid-November this year when Christmas decorations started coming up around Zhuhai. And Christmas Carols are heard. And Starbuck’s Toffee Nut Latte was back to the menu…

Every year Multicultural Kid Blogs orgsnizes Christmas around the World series. This year we decided to get creative and introduce various Christmas related themes and objects as they are around the world. I got – Christmas Decorations!

Since I was a  child, decorating Christmas tree (even if we didn’t celebrate Christmas in Soviet Union) was sometimes magical. Putting up everything up, hanging garlands. Shops and offices would hang out posters, pictures etc.

Nowadays, we like to explore different places that decorate for Christmas and they are gorgeous!

Take a look at these pictures of Christmas trees taken by my friend Mark in Hong Kong!

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So, first let me quickly summarize what Christmas decorations are there (they are pretty much the same!). And then, share with you what they looks like around the world.

1. Christmas Tree:

They come in all sizes and shapes. In some places until now people cut them down from the forests. In others – people use plastic ones.

Here is a beautiful tree which was just put up in Dulwich College, Zhuhai, China.

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2. Christmas Plants and Wreaths:

Holly, misletoe, poisettia and ivy are the plans people place in their houses besides Christmas trees.

Wreaths are traditionally made of  real or fake conifer branches. But nowadays, they are made of so many other things!

This is an adorable wreath craft from Mama Smiles.

3. Outdoor Decorations:

It is traditional to decorate your house (if you live in one) outside and around with lights, sleighs, snowmen, Nativity scenes and anything that comes to mind and is associated with Christmas.

Here’s a beautifully decorated house that belongs to my friend Jay, in North America.

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4.  Stockings, candy canes, garlands, candles and angels.

Stockings are not a very common decoration for Christmas in Russia. In general, Russian Christmas decorations are slightly different – no candy canes, no stockings, no wreaths. But there are always some beautiful lights, garlands and candles.

This is a Christmas tree in my mom’s home several years ago – originally shared over at Red Ted Art

Check out how Christmas is decorated and celebrated by several MKB bloggers in other countries!

Alternative Christmas Trees by the piri-piri lexicon

Christmas in Finland by Multilingual Parenting

Christmas in Germany by La Cité de Vents

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This is our third year doing our Christmas in Different Lands series, and we couldn’t be more excited!  It is always fun to learn more about Christmas traditions around the world, so stay tuned as bloggers share holiday fun from different lands.  For even more glimpses of global Christmas celebrations, see our series from previous years (2013 and 2014), plus follow MKB Christmas board on Pinterest!

ABC Cookies For All Seasons

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This is the 3rd post in Fun Ways to Play with ABC’s – Seasonal ABC’s – hosted by Something 2 Offer.

The following activity is very hands-on, easy and… Tasty! The children don’t only practice their language skills but also work on fine motor skills, hand – eye coordination, focus; develop their creativity and gain sensory experience (texture and taste).

You can find the recipe for Sugar Cookies here.

The idea is very simple: make the dough, roll it, let the children make letters out of the dough, bake them and eat them!

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Be prepared for the letters to be absolutely imperfect and more over when the cookies are baking, the expand all sorts of ways! But it is still fun!

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You can choose to decorate the cookies with simple icing for special occasions, like, Christmas, Ayyam-i-Ha and other holidays.

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Please stop by the Sensory ABC’s landing page for more ideas!

Making Christmas Traditions in China

Last year MKB had a very successful Christmas In Different Lands series, so naturally, this year we decided to create one more! It has now because MKB’s tradition to ask various multicultural blogs to participate and share how this big holiday is celebrated around the globe. The following post is a part of Christmas in Different Land 2014 Series!
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I have already written about Christmas in China and I have also mentioned that as Baha’is we don’t view Christmas the same way the others do. Nevertheless, we are not against this holiday as it has integrated in many cultures not as a religious holiday anymore but also in a way to have fun and enjoy time. This is the case in China: Christmas is not a public holiday, however you will see so many beautiful decorations all over and parties, especially for kids.
As an English teacher and a foreigners I am often asked to help facilitate a Christmas activity. Recently I was teaching a class on baking Christmas cookies!
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We have also learned that in the area where we live once a year expats gather on 24th afternoon for a Holiday cheer and share snacks and socialize.
Since just as every expat we learned to build our own traditions, I thought I could share some thoughts and quotes by other expats and local friends who live here and celebrate Christmas in China:
1. Putting up  a Christmas tree is easy – they are available around Christmas all over the place, even in small towns. But if not – taobao.com  (local web, similar to amazon) will have it all for you1
2. Inviting friends over or spending time with the family is a great way to bond. Chinese are very fond of foreign holidays so they will gladly partake in festivities.
3. Attend local Christmas parties and events: they can get loud but nevertheless they are festive and fun! There are always great promotions around Christmas too.
4. Don’t have high expectations and learn to adapt: it is never “like back home” because it is a completely different place. But you can still get the best out of it since the whole holiday spirit is a state of your mind!
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Here are a few quotes from local expats:
“For us, we celebrate Christmas day in the office/factory, working (if it falls on a workweek). Sadly, Christmas day isn’t a holiday here. That’s why whenever possible, we take a vacation leave to our home land to celebrate Christmas there. But whenever we are left here in China, we celebrate it with co-Filipino families. We either prepare homecook meals or we dine out in restaurants with special Christmas menus. In Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the Filipino community holds a yearly Christmas Party (usually held just before the others have their Christmas vacation)” – M.R, Philippines.
“Go to church at Hong Kong or Macau, back Zhuhai dinner with some friends.. if anyone want celebrate together are welcome” – H.J
“Depends if hubby can get the day off work, but generally we spend it the same way as we would in the UK with family, presents and a BIG CHRISTMAS DINNER YUM!” – C.T., UK (Wales)
“In Christmas eve we will send apple to each other ,because Christians eve in Chinese is “ping an ye” and apple is “ping guo”- ZHY, China
“Family and friends together for dinner and a fun game of present swapping/stealing game!”- J. L, USA
“For me growing up Christmas was all about tradition! So it’s exciting now trying to recreate some of that w/ my own family. We bake cookies to leave for Santa tonight and for M to take to work. Then tomorrow my hubby makes a seafood stew. He is SO proud of his recipe. After some time In Australia we’ve adopted Boxing Day now too and of course as Christians we celebrate the real reason for Christmas by acknowledging and showing gratitude for Christ’s birth.  Unfortunately no church service here for us, but we will share the story with [our son] and give God the joy.” – S.G, USA
“On 23rd we bake cookies, then we have family dinner on 24th and open presents on 25th! It is not like back home as there is no snow, but it is still magical” – S.T, USA

 

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To learn more about Christmas in other countries, please click on the picture above!
I wish you Happy Holidays and I hope you get the most out of them!

Celebrate Christmas Around the World {Activity Pack Review}

I had a wonderful opportunity to review Christmas Around the World Activity Pack created by members of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community. It is now being on sale!
Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this activity pack in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 
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There are 6 countries introduced in the pack: Brazil, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Sweden.
It is very attractive and filled with beautiful yet simple illustrations. The activities are appropriate for children from 2 years old up. And they certainly can help making the recipes!
The instructions and descriptions are very clear. You don’t really need to see the final product to know what it will look or taste like! And it was nice to see the variety of activities: from printable DIYs, to crosswords and a review of what you’ve learned at the end.
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And, of course, I liked Christmas vocabulary from few different countries are introduced: even if the children never study those languages, the words will remain somewhere in their memory and make their multicultural and multilingual experience much more interesting! We don’t really celebrate Christmas but as a part of cultural exposure this is a great resource for families like ours or for ESL students who don’t have the first hand experience with Christmas.
I highly recommend this activity pack if you are looking to introduce your children or students to the ways Christmas is celebrated in 6 different countries through basic information about these countries, traditions, activities and recipes. It could be a great family project for Christmas holidays, too!

Celebrate Christmas Around the World {Activity Pack Review}

I had a wonderful opportunity to review Christmas Around the World Activity Pack created by members of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community. It is now being on sale!
Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this activity pack in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 
Xmas-cover
There are 6 countries introduced in the pack: Brazil, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Sweden.
It is very attractive and filled with beautiful yet simple illustrations. The activities are appropriate for children from 2 years old up. And they certainly can help making the recipes!
The instructions and descriptions are very clear. You don’t really need to see the final product to know what it will look or taste like! And it was nice to see the variety of activities: from printable DIYs, to crosswords and a review of what you’ve learned at the end.
sample
And, of course, I liked Christmas vocabulary from few different countries are introduced: even if the children never study those languages, the words will remain somewhere in their memory and make their multicultural and multilingual experience much more interesting! We don’t really celebrate Christmas but as a part of cultural exposure this is a great resource for families like ours or for ESL students who don’t have the first hand experience with Christmas.
I highly recommend this activity pack if you are looking to introduce your children or students to the ways Christmas is celebrated in 6 different countries through basic information about these countries, traditions, activities and recipes. It could be a great family project for Christmas holidays, too!

Christmas In Different Land: Christmas Spirit In China

Do you celebrate Christmas? How do you celebrate it? I’ve written earlier that we don’t really celebrate Christmas but we love Christmas Gawking! As ESL teachers, we do of course teach our children about Christmas and make Christmas activities. Last year we made Hand-printed Christmas Tree, and this year – Christmas Lanterns.

In China Christmas is not an official holiday but you feel the spirit as everything gets decorated and starts sparkling, spiced by Christmas carols, from around the beginning of November!

Supermarkets are filled with Christmas decorations: trees, ornaments, small Santa dolls, Snowmen, Santa hats, tinsel and more!

In schools Christmas is only celebrated in kindergarten levels. And in some primary schools, early grades. After that children simply have no time for any festivities!

In my post I want to “walk” you through how everything looks here during months of November – December. From January things start getting ready for Chinese New Year, so shortly after New Year’s holidays all of these get taken down.

Most of these pictures are taken in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, where we live, and some – in Macao, which is just next door.

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Christmas trees around here are gorgeous! And people go out of their to decorate and create a festive atmosphere!

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If Christmas is celebrated by some families, it is usually associated with dinner out with friends, Santa and presents, games and tons of fun! This particular party was organized by us, a bunch of parents, to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

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Our daughter for ones loves posing in front of all the beautiful decorations! These are some dear memories to keep for years to come!

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Most of kindergartens would have their morning exercise associated with Christmas. Like here, children wear Santa hats and dance along the Christmas carols! It is so much fun!

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Ah, this is such a sweet memory. At some point in 2011 I taught English at a Charity Federation. They organized a lovely Christmas party for the children from low income and single-parent families, with snack and children showing off their talents. And boy, they ARE talented! Their voices, abilities to play various instruments. It was probably the best Christmas party ever!

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These are just some decorations around Zhuhai and Macao. In Macao Christmas is an official holiday and schools go on Christmas vacation for 2 weeks. Macao used to be a Portuguese colony and after rejoining China, they were allowed to keep their life pace and holidays. China looks no less festive even though there is no official holiday nor vacation.

Jian Cai December 2009

And these are decorations from a kindergarten where my husband used to work at. Chinese teachers spend hours decorating and beautifying the classrooms. It just makes children happy to see all these beautiful ornaments and trees!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of seeing what Christmas Spirit does in China. Leave a comment on how you celebrate – I’d love to know!

 

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Stop by these other blogs who participate in Christmas in Different Land organized by members of Multicultural Kid Blogs!

December 1 – Multicultural Kid Blogs, Introduction

December 2 –  Mama Smiles, USA

December 3 –  Afterschool for Smarty Pants, Russia

December 4 – Laugh and Learn, Ukraine

December 5 – Expat Life with a Double Buggy, Netherlands

December 6 – Glittering Muffins, Germany

December 7 – Inspired By Familia Magazine, Latin America

December 8-  Kid World Citizen, Mexico

December 9 – Kid Yoga Stories, Australia

December 10 – Desu Mama, Cuba

December 11 – La Famille Brown, UK

December 12 – All Done Monkey, Costa Rica

December 13 – Creative World of Varya, China

December 14  –  Busy as a Bee in Paris, France

December 15 – Spanglish House, Bolivia

December 16 –  Glittering Muffins, Quebec, Canada

December 17 –  Dad’s the way I like it, UK and Ireland

December 18  – Head Of The Heard, Brazil

December 19 –  Mama Smiles, Sweden

December 20 – Multilingual Parenting, Finland

December 21 – Open Wide The World, Phillipines

December 22 – European Mama for Kid World Citizen, Poland

December 23 – Crafty Moms Share, Jamaica

December 24 – Multicultural Kid Blogs, Conclusion

Child-Made Christmas Lanterns

I am happy to participate in and be one of the first to post for 20 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas Ornaments Project, hosted by some of the amazing bloggers from KBN (Kid Blogger Network).

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Living in China where Christmas has become a big deal (while not being an official holiday) and being an ESL teacher, over the past 20 years I’ve taught and made tons of Christmas crafts. I usually try to find something easy and fun for children to make. So, today I am introducing a Christmas Lantern to you! (This lantern is a great decoration for Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival too!)

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What you will need:

2 paper cups

Double-sided tape

Crafting ribbon

Crepe paper

Paint (for finger prints decoration)

How to make it:

1. Put to cups together and secure them with a double-sided tape.

2. Take the paper off the tape and stick the ribbon over it.

3. Using pieces of double-sided tape and a smaller piece of ribbon, make a handle that the lantern will hang on.

4. Apply another round of double sided take on the bottom of the lantern. Tear crepe paper into strips. Take the paper off the double-sided tape and stick the strips of crepe paper over so that they hang down.lantern1

5. Using paint, have children decorate the lanterns with finger prints. This is probably the most fun they get while making this lantern!

6. Dry and decorate the tree or your house with the lanterns (be careful though to keep them away from Christmas lights!)

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 What are your favorite Christmas ornaments? Do you prefer making them or buying?

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Would you like to join in on the fun too?!

Here’s how:

  1. Go to the landing page here, for this series that Melissa at Mama Miss is hosting.
  2. Just link a KID-MADE ornament you’ve created with your kiddos (limited to 2 a day).
  3. Add this pretty little ornament shaped button below to your blog post, or your sidebar, or somewhere on your beautiful blog letting me know you are joining in on the fun too!!
  4. Label the ornament button: 20 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments
  5. Link the ornament button to: the landing page for this series.

 

20 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments

 

The link up will be open from December 1st until December 21st for all entries.

Make sure to pop by these other fabulous bloggers too, that are participating in this series…

December 1st

Mama Miss

Here Come the Girls

Creative World of Varya

December 2nd

Housing A Forest

NurtureStore

December 3rd

Twodaloo

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

Play Trains!

December 4th

Mama Smiles

One Perfect Day

December 5th

Feels Like Home

How Wee Learn

December 6th

My Little 3 and Me

The House of Hendrix

Teach Beside Me

December 7th

The Connection We Share

Scribble Doodle and Draw

FSPDT

December 8th

The Library Adventure

Something 2 Offer

Learn with Play at Home

December 9th

The Pleasantest Thing

Tutus & Tea Parties

Edventures with Kids

December 10th

Nothing if Not Intentional

Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Me & Marie Learning

December 11th

Glittering Muffins

Child Central Station

Happiness is Homemade

December 12th

eLeMeNO-P Kids

Coffee Cups and Crayons

Living Montessori Now

December 13th

Teach me Mommy

Mum in The Mad House

The Craft Train

December 14th

Mama.Papa.Bubba.

MeMeTales

Imprints From Tricia

December 15th

True Aim Education

Sugar Aunts

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

December 16th

Powerful Mothering

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

The Eyes of a Boy

December 17th

Teach Preschool

Plain Vanilla Mom

Lalymom

December 18th

P is for Preschooler

Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes

Busy Kids = Happy Mom

December 19th

Mama Miss

Glittering Muffins

December 20th

Tips From a Typical Mom

Rockabye Butterfly

Kids Co-Op and DIY Cards

Last year, we created some wonderful cards to give to friends for Nawruz – Baha’i New Year. I have never described the process so I decided with the 2 upcoming Baha’i HolidaysBirthdays of The Bab and Baha’u’llah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year. This would be a nice personalized way of greeting people.

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The process is very very simple – we use finger painting here, choose the pattern and then let our imagination flow.

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